Today, the Third Test begins in Perth — at the hallowed WACA Ground — and make no mistake; this is it. If Australia puts in a pathetic performance it’s over and England retain the Ashes. Seldom has the Western Australian capital hosted a Test of such significance.
This is Ponting’s most significant battle, and perhaps his final stand, as a loss here could see the Australian captain, among the finest cricketers this country has ever seen, have his career ended as either captain or player.
As a proud Sandgroper who now lives in Melbourne I have seen some pretty special Test cricket moments at the WACA:
- Glenn McGrath’s hat trick against the West Indies
- Shane Warne’s 99 against New Zealand
- Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe
- Australia win The Ashes in 2002 and a sober Aussie team signed the awesome banner made by my drunken mates and I.
So as a Western Australian and a cricket fanatic the WACA is dear to my heart.
At the moment, on a green WACA deck, Australia is considering playing four quicks. I like this idea. If Australia is to win, we need the Perth wicket to be back to its hostile and bouncy best. We need the English to metaphorically shit themselves. We need to find our inner Dennis Lillee. Fuck it. Let’s bring DK back.
So much rests on this match.
I like Steven Smith’s inclusion. I hope Phillip Hughes can show enough to convince the selectors to keep him as the permanent opener for Australia. If Michael Beer misses out because Australia chooses an all pace battalion, I will only be disappointed because with a surname like his he is destined for a lucrative VB sponsorship.
In a few hours time the first ball will be bowled in anger.
Come on Australia. Let’s not make Sydney and Melbourne dead rubbers because the English will be unbearable.
The best writing around the place:
- Perth Ashes Test, an A-to-Z — Wisden
- A surprising spark of optimism rises from the ashes of defeat — The SMH
- Ponting: We’ll prepare to use our instincts at the WACA — The Australian
- England beware: Perth has teeth again — The Independent
- England on the verge of greatness — The Guardian
- Warnie, your team needs you — Cricinfo
- Phillip Hughes and the short ball — King Cricket
The Crikey Sports Ashes archive: